The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) is pleased to announce Dr. Brittany White, Dr. Maria R. C. de Godoy, and Mr. Michael Clark will be the featured speakers in the symposium entitled “Pet Food Innovation for Pets and Pet Parents” on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, during the 75th AMSA Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC). This session will be sponsored by Simmons Foods. 

Dr. Brittany White, Director of Product Development for Simmons Pet Food, will start out this session speaking about “Insights Driven Development of Humanized Foods for Pets.” Commercialized pet food has been evolving since the late 1800’s. In 2020, the U.S. pet food industry was worth $42 billion, and it continues to grow at rapid rates year after year.  Today, pet parents are increasingly looking for new ways to nourish and delight their pets, and this has led to the development of alternative pet food formats, including fresh-cooked pet foods. These new formats offer advantages to both the pet and the pet parent, but present unique challenges in formulation and processing that do not exist for conventional pet food processing technologies. This presentation will explore the consumer insights that have led to the evolution of the pet food industry. Further, it will highlight the unique opportunities that pet food brands face as they seek to satisfy consumer demand for high quality, humanized foods for pets without compromising the nutritional adequacy, safety, and sustainability of commercial pet food diets.

Dr. Maria R. C. de Godoy, associate professor at the University of Illinois, will follow with a presentation over “Commercial Pet Food Formats: Nutritional and Wellness Perspectives.” Diversification is a phenomenon observed in the pet food industry for the past decade. More recently, great emphasis has been placed on different pet food formats and comparing traditional diets (i.e., extruded and retorted) to novel (at least in pet food) processing methods. However, many inputs (e.g., ingredient source and type, nutrient composition, etc.) will influence the nutritional quality and functional properties of pet food products. Currently, there is a lack of scientific literature in this area and a need of studies that can address short and long-term impact of these nutritional approaches on pet’s health, as well as concerns related to pet food safety.

Michael Clark, senior director, Integrated Marketing at Simmons Pet Food, will conclude this session talking about “What are Pet Parents looking for in Pet Food?” In this presentation he will share insights of how the  buying behavior of the Pet Parent is changing by highlighting the changes in product and channel shifts that are requiring brands and retailers to adapt. Details will be shared about  these changes as well as discussing potential long term implications to the pet food industry.

AMSA is an organization recognized for its unmatched competence and commitment to attracting and developing meat industry leaders and providing science-based meat research and information. For more information, please visit or contact Deidrea Mabry 1-800-517-AMSA ext. 12.

Source: AMSA